Top NHL draft prospect Nolan Patrick makes ceremonial pitch at Wrigley
CHICAGO (AP) Nolan Patrick, a potential No. 1 overall pick on Friday at the NHL draft in Chicago, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Wrigley Field before Wednesday's game between the Cubs and Padres.
But the 18-year-old native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, apparently isn't much of a baseball fan. And when Patrick does follow the sport, he roots for Canada's team.
''I watched the Blue Jays mostly in the playoffs, but I don't watch too much baseball during the year,'' Patrick said. ''But it's only my third game I've ever been, to so it's pretty exciting being here.''
Still, Patrick was impressed by the honor and setting on a sunny, 74-degree day at the home of the reigning World Series champions.
''I've never been to Chicago,'' Patrick said. ''So it's exciting anytime to go to a new sport event and obviously they're the defending champs - pretty cool.''
Patrick also was happy to be in the city where Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks captain and fellow Winnipeg native, has won three Stanley Cups.
''He's been a little bit of a role model for me as a young kid,'' Patrick said. ''That's kind of why I started wearing the number 19 when I was younger.''
Patrick was joined by fellow prospects Gabriel Vilardi of Kingston, Ontario, and Casey Mittelstadt from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, in a pregame ceremony. Vilardi wore a Blue Jays cap. Kingston is 165 miles east of Toronto.
''I've had a few people tell me to take this off,'' Vilardi said. ''But it's all right, maybe they can get me a free hat here, hopefully.''
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